How to Successfully Mediate Your Divorce
A person going through a divorce will probably have some preconceived ideas about what to expect during the process. For some, these expectations may include dramatic images of a courtroom showdown with their former partner. However, the truth is that most divorces will end up settling outside of court. A common way for parties to reach an agreement is through mediation and in some cases, they may even be court-ordered to mediate. Here are some ways to successfully mediate your divorce:
Mediation is a process which involves both sides meeting with a neutral third party mediator who is trained in helping with dispute resolution. The mediator is not on any one person’s side but is there to gather information in an effort to understand where each person is coming from and assist in brokering an agreement. During mediation, you, your former partner, and the mediator will meet for several hours during which you will try to come to a resolution on the issues in your divorce. Unlike trial, mediation gives the parties the flexibility and freedom to craft their divorce terms according to their unique circumstances. If you can agree during mediation, you will be able to avoid having to go to trial.
Come Properly Prepared
As is the case with many areas of life, solid preparation can make all the difference in achieving a successful result. Mediation is no exception. In order to make the process productive, you will need to enter into it with vital information ready and with the proper documents. This is because, in order to gain a complete perspective of the case and your position, the mediator is going to need relevant information to be accessible and verifiable. For example, if you and your former partner have multiple financial holdings, you will want to be prepared to prove the account balances for purposes of dividing your assets. You may also require this information to calculate child support or alimony.
It is also beneficial to have a firm idea of what is important to you before beginning the process. For instance, if you are sure you do not want your children to live more than a certain number of miles from you, you need to let your mediator know this fact upfront for purposes of negotiation. When you have your information ready, you are helping to make certain that the mediator has what they need to work towards a resolution.
Be Open to the Process
Mediation can span several hours during which the mediator will go back and forth between you and your former partner to reach an agreement. These protracted negotiations can become frustrating and may cause you to be less willing to budge on certain issues. While the process may be trying, remaining open can yield positive results. Mediation gives you the opportunity to come to an agreement which suits your circumstances while avoiding the needless expense of a drawn-out divorce trial. By looking at mediation as a chance to be fair and reasonable with one another while coming to a mutually advantageous accord, you will increase the likelihood of coming to an agreement which works to your benefit.
Mediation can be a useful process for those who want to settle their divorce without going through the burden and expense of a trial. It also provides the parties with the autonomy to work out an agreement that works for their lives. However, mediation involves reaching a settlement regarding legally complex matters. Therefore, to be successful during your mediation you need the support of a knowledgeable family law attorney.
At the Draper Law Firm, we have experienced family law attorneys who can advocate for you during the divorce mediation process and help you reach an agreement which serves your best interest. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation. We invite you to learn more about our firm here.